Loading... Please wait...



CHECK THE LABEL: ​Screen Your Sunscreen

Posted by

Screen Your Sunscreen

Is it just me, or is the weather getting warmer these past few days? This means only one thing: summer is here!

And when I say summer, you know I am talking about going to the beach with your family for some well-deserved R&R on the sand, listening to the calm waters lapping on the shore, and enjoying good grills under the warm summer sun. Of course when I say summer, you also know you had better be prepared in protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays. But before you go running to your nearest local cosmetics store and grabbing the first bottle of sunscreen you see, keep in mind that not all suncreens are created equal. That is, some sunscreens may actually be more harmful for your skin in the long run.

Perhaps the two most common chemicals found in sunscreens are oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate (or retinol), but we must look at these two under a microscope before liberally applying them on our skin.

Oxybenzone is a primary substance in sunscreens that absorbs ultra violet rays, while retinyl palmitate (or retinol) are forms of vitamin A that has antioxidant properties. At first glance, it would seem that these two ingredients would actually be beneficial for the skin, and it would only be logical to actually include them in every bottle of sunscreen. However, some research came across questionable results at best.

Take for example oxybenzone. According to the Environtmenal Working Group or EWG, oxybenzone is linked to hormone disruption and potentially to cell damage. If not careful, prolonged exposure to this chemical may eventually lead to skin cancer—quite ironic from a bottle of sunscreen, don’t you think? The same can be said about retinyl palmitate when used on sun-exposed skin.

However, some groups maintain that oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate are perfectly safe. The FDA has approved oxybenzone in sunscreen for use on children older than 6 months, and the American Academy of Dermatology or AAD insists that oxybenzone has been approved for use since 1978, and there is “no convincing evidence” that retinyl palmitate causes cancer.

Although the study on retinyl palmitate was conducted on mice and remains to be inconclusive for humans, the fact remains that vitamin A products, which include retinyl palmitate and retinol, leave the skin more susceptible to damage from UV rays because of their exfoliating properties. And whether or not it causes skin cancer, oxybenzone can cause allergic skin reactions. It is best, therefore, that people with roseacea, eczema, or other skin issues avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone.

One organic alternative is the use of ocean based retinol (click  here for our Advanced Firming Eye Cream). You get to have all the benefits of retinol, i.e., soft, hydrated skin; minimized lines and wrinkles, without the harmful side effects.

Now that the sun is out, don’t forget to protect your skin from UV rays. And don’t just use any sunscreen; make sure to inspect if its ingredients are actually safe for you and your skin.




HOME IS WHERE YOUR HEALTH IS: ​Essential Oil Series: Bergamot

Essential Oil Series: BergamotThis February, we continue what we started last month with another oil in our essential oil series: bergamot.If you’ve never seen a bergamot before in your life, like I have, imagine a green, wrinkled lemon and you get the picture. If you think the resemblance with the lemon is strong with this one, it’s because bergamot is a [...]

Read More »

HOME IS WHERE YOUR HEALTH IS: ​Essential Oil Series: Basil

Essential Oil Series: Basil It all started when my wife and I were given by my sister-in-law a set of starter essential oils last Christmas. The set included the essential oils lemon, lavender, and frankincense. We were instructed how to use them at home, i.e., to mix them with the carrier oil that came with the set, or to [...]

Read More »


Go-To ColaCoca-Cola has been a staple beverage in every celebration I know, be it birthday parties, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve celebrations. And why not? The sizzle that this dark, silky smooth liquid leaves on your tongue as its ice-cold feel playfully burns down your throat, which is so wrong that it feels so right, is simply [...]

Read More »

FOOD FOR TAUT (SKIN): ​Thank Green Beans

Thank Green Beans In case I haven’t mentioned it, I live in Baguio City, the Summer Capital of the Philippines. Now that I come to think of it, it’s actually ironic to name our city as the “Summer Capital” when it gets pretty cold here, especially during January and February. It only goes to show how we, Filipinos, [...]

Read More »

CHECK THE LABEL: ​Beauty That’s Skin Deep

Beauty That’s Skin Deep When Michael Jackson’s hit, “Black or White,” was released in 1991, it made such a big impact because, for one, its music video used what was then state-of-the-art computer graphics where each face seamlessly morphed into another belonging to a different race or color. This was made even more controversial because of the rumors surrounding MJ [...]

Read More »

WORKOUT FOR THE WEEK: ​Yoga for Zombies

Yoga for Zombies We just finished watched the second episode of the second season of Stranger Things last night, and we realized how Halloween is such a big thing in the States. While going door-to-door at night asking for bucket loads of candy sounds like a very exciting (albeit unhealthy) thing to do, our culture simply does not practice trick-or-treating here [...]

Read More »


TahoAlmost every Filipino born in the ‘80s (or earlier) can relate to childhood memories of waking up in the early weekend hours to the voice of the magtataho or taho vendor making his daily rounds along the streets of his own local town. To many Filipino kids, this marks the start of yet another weekend bliss where the days are [...]

Read More »


Essential Oils: Lemon The first time I heard that lemons were actually alkaline when ingested despite its acidic pH level, I could not believe it. When I did a little more digging about lemon, here are some more trivia that I found.Did you know that:Sprinkling lemon juice on sliced apples, avocados, and bananas will keep them from oxidizing [...]

Read More »

CHECK THE LABEL: ​“Coal Tar Ogar!”

“Coal Tar Ogar!”“Dabu.” “Lok-Tar.” Zug-zug.” If any of these phrases mean anything to you (or even seem remotely familiar), then you are a true brother or sister of The Horde.In case it wasn’t obvious from my Warcraft reference, I am a gamer. Not exactly a hardcore gamer, but a gamer nonetheless. I have been [...]

Read More »


Recent Updates